KATHMANDU, May 9: After 12 years of hiatus, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is resuming its direct flights to Osaka of Japan. The flights of the Nepali national flag carrier will start from July 4.
Although the state-owned airline company started its flight to Osaka via Shanghai in 1994, it had suspended the then Boeing 757 flights in 2007 citing shortage of aircraft.
“Now there will be direct flights between Kathmandu and Osaka,” said the state-run airlines in its press statement.
The airline company had initially planned to fly to Tokyo and Narita. But it decided to fly to Osaka after the Japanese authorities refused to give permission to fly to the other two cities. However, NAC officials said talks with the Japanese authorities are still underway and NAC hopes to fly to Narita as well. The officials however could not say when would the flights to Narita resume.
NAC’s new wide-body Airbus A330-320 will fly to Osaka thrice a week—Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, according to the press statement. NAC aircraft will take off from Kathmandu at 2:30 am and land at Osaka at 11:55 am, the statement said.
The fare for one-way travel has been fixed at Rs 45,000 and a round trip will cost between Rs 75,000 and Rs 90,000, according to NAC official Navaraj Koirala.
Nepali nationals currently residing in Japan and Japanese tourists visiting Nepal are expected to benefit from the direct flights.
The national flag carrier operates flights to Delhi, Doha, Dubai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Mumbai, and Bangalore along with domestic flights to 25 districts across the country.
Meanwhile, Koirala said NAC is also preparing to fly to Guangzhou, China soon. Also, it plans to start flights between Bhairahawa and Bangkok once the Gautam Buddha International Airport starts operation.